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Opposition holds major rally in Maldives capital

Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 March 2018, MVT 17:37
Police officers arrest Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed at the joint opposition protest on March 2, 2018. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 March 2018, MVT 17:37

18:45 - Lawyer Hisaan Hussain announced in a tweet that she had met the arrested MPs, Shahid and Riyaz. "Police informs that they will taken to Dhoonidhoo and has yet not decided whether they are arrested under SoE or not," she said. Police had also arrested Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed along with some other protesters during the rally.

18:20 - In addition to the three lawmakers, the police have also arrested a number of citizens participating in the rally so far. Gatherings were conducted at four points along Majeedhee Magu; the police have broken up most of the crowds, but people are still gathered at various points. The joint opposition has declared that they will continue the rally without pause.

17:35 - Former parliament speaker and Henveiru North MP Abdulla Shahid, and Kinbidhoo MP Abdulla Riyaz were arrested.

17:30 - Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s spokesperson Ali Arif proclaimed that the opposition's actions were unlawful and warned legal action, stating that the government would uphold the rule of law. He urged the people to refrain from joining the rallies.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed's mother pictured holding a poster calling for the release of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's son, Faris, during the opposition rally on March 2, 2018. PHOTO/SOCIAL MEDIA

17:25 - Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) lawmaker Imthiyaz Fahmy called on the Presidential Commission to investigate the alleged USD 1 million deposited in an account of President Abdulla Yameen. He declared that Yameen must be impeached and the police are no longer obliged to obey his orders.

17:00 – Dhidhdhoo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed was arrested. He claimed that the reason for his arrest was not obstruction of law enforcement officers, but rather that the police were ordered to take him into custody.

During the joint opposition protest on March 2, 2018. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WHAEED/MIHAARU

Members and supporters of opposition parties have commenced protests in capital Male on Friday evening, calling on the government to enforce the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on February 1 to release political prisoners, and lift the ongoing state of emergency.

The rallies are being held at various points of the main road Majeedhee Magu, and near Jumhoory Party’s main hub at Kunooz.

Supporters of opposition parties gathered on Majeedhee Magu in capital Male to protest the government's refusal to enforce the Supreme Court's landmark ruling of February 1 to release political prisoners.

Police in riot gear have been dispatched and are working to control the crowds and break up the gatherings. Mihaaru understands that the police are also using pepper spray as per their norm, and have already arrested some of the protesters.

Opposition lawmakers have also joined the protest, and they are calling on the police to not infringe the constitutional rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly, and to refrain from obeying unlawful orders.

(developing…)

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